Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Homemade barbecue sauce is easy to make and so much better than one that comes in a bottle. And the best part is no preservatives or fillers!

Mason Jars of Homemade BBQ Sauce

Why I Started Making Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Stirring BBQ SauceThe homemade sauce tastes so much better but it is the additives in a bottled sauce that got me making my own. We have two sons with ADHD and one with ADD, and after reading up on these two learning disabilities, I learned that certain preservatives can affect both ADHD and ADD. And we decided that if these chemicals could affect our boys in a negative way then they may be doing something similar to our other seven children.

I started making more food from scratch. This did mean more time cooking and baking, but it was less time in the grocery store reading labels. If I am making sauces from scratch, then I am buying less processed foods as well.

Also, check out Mike’s Bourbon BBQ Sauce. He has been making this sauce for close to 20 years.


Ketchup- my choice of ketchup is French’s. It’s made in Canada from Canadian-grown tomatoes and has no preservatives.

Apple Cider Vinegar- organic is my choice here. Mother Earth Vinegar is the one I buy at Costco in a 1.9L bottle. We use a lot of ACV so we buy in bulk.

Worcestershire Sauce- No Name* brand is what we use. Yes, the yellow label is sold in Canadian grocery stores. This brand has come a long way since I was a kid and we love their Simple Check which tells us that it doesn’t contain 10 ingredients we don’t want to consume. Check out their website for more info.*

Brown Sugar- light is my go-to but the dark can also be used.

Fresh minced garlic – sometimes I cheat by using minced garlic in a jar because it is easier and faster.

Pineapple Juice- it has to be 100% juice. This adds a bit of sweetness and flavour to the sauce.

Smoked paprika- adds to the flavour. Regular paprika can be substituted

Other Spices and Seasonings- granulated garlic, granulated onion, dry mustard (Keen’s is our choice), freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt.


BBQ Sauce ingredients and dutch ovenI like to use my dutch oven on the side burner of my gas grill to make this sauce. I have a President’s Choice dutch oven* that is perfect for making this sauce, although before I bought this pot I used a heavy-bottomed metal pot.

*not sponsored by President’s Choice, No Name or Loblaw. These are just our favourite products to use.

Storing Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Small Mason Jar of Homemade Barbecue SauceOnce this sauce is cooled to room temperature, the sauce needs to be stored in air-tight containers in the fridge. I like to use small Mason jars because it lasts longer when it isn’t opened over and over. Using smaller jars means less product gets exposed to air when you want just a little sauce.

If you don’t have Mason jars, a plastic or glass container with an air-tight lid will work. The sauce will stain the inside of plastic containers because of its tomato base.

Uses For Homemade BBQ Sauce

Adding BBQ to chicken breastsThe ways to use this sauce are unlimited. We use it on BBQ chicken breasts and on wings as well as pork roasts.

It is great for dipping as well. Chicken strips and nuggets are perfect to dip in this sauce.

Use it as a topping for burgers and hot dogs.

No matter how you use it, it is a great sauce to have on hand for any BBQ or when you just want to add some BBQ flavour.

Stirring BBQ Sauce

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 3 cups ketchup
  • cup pineapple juice, 100% juice, no sugar added
  • ½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 Tbsp granulated onion
  • 1 Tbsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper


  • Add all ingredients to pot
  • Stir well to incorporate all ingredients together
  • Place pot on medium to high heat and bring to a slow boil
  • Reduce heat to low and continue cooking with lid on for 45 minutes, stirring often to avoid sticking to bottom of pot.
  • Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Sauce will thicken as it rests
  • Pour into mason jars and store in fridge for up to two months



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